On Wednesday night, I attended an awards ceremony for the graduating seniors. These are students who are recognized for their brains, their involvement, their leadership and their success over the past four years.
Each department gives an award to the outstanding student in their subject, and there are other awards that run the gamut from athletics to art to merit scholars. One of the last awards given was the Principal's Award which goes to four students who have demonstrated leadership amongst their peers.
Though Mallie Bee didn't win any of the special awards, one of her friends did. Her friend whose mother died of ovarian cancer when she was in the 8th grade, who had some very tough years before her and her brother settled into their motherless lives and who has never blamed anyone for the lousy hand she was dealt.
She strode across that stage with the confidence of somebody twice her age and I couldn't have been happier, for her mother was one of the dearest people in my life. Six years earlier, I sat next to Vicki in the elementary school gym when the 6th grade choir sang and she cried the entire time. When they finished, she laughed at herself and wondered how emotional she'd be if her daughter actually did something big.
Well, my friend, she did do something big. Very big. She got through lonely days, upheaval and uncertainty, and stayed true to everything you valued in life. When the principal handed her that award.........I cried for you.